← Back to Blog

Pot with no drainage hole? Here's your options

Pot with no drainage hole? Here's your options

Does your plant's pot have a hole in it?

..and why does that even matter?

"I really just like the look of this planter but it has no hole in it, should I care?"
Some pots have drainage; others do not. It’s all pretty straightforward really and yet that little hole at the bottom of your pot means a world of difference in the potted plant world. The question is, "is it possible to keep your plant in a pot without drainage holes?"

Our answer is yes, but with a bit of thought and care taken..

We know the feeling of finding the PERFECT pot to match your decor. And then you realise it has no drainage holes (boo!). If you just can’t walk away we’ve got some tricks to keep your new fave pot AND make sure your plants are happy.

Option 1: Use or create an insert for your pot

And start thinking of that pot without the holes as more of the sleeve.

An insert allows you to plant into a pot with proper drainage holes, and then pop that inside your pot/sleeve. The outside stays nice and pretty, and your plants get the drainage they need.
You just take the insert out when it’s time to water, give them a good soak, wait for them to drain, and pop them back into their home - simple!

Option 2: Use a Waterwick

Your second option is really an extension of the insert rule, with an added benefit.

If you’re not into taking your pot out to water and drain you can try a Waterwick. This little device creates a link between your plants roots and a water source, meaning all you have to do is keep the water source full and the plant will water itself!

This is perfect for uniquely shaped sleeves (like vases) or for more hands-off plant parents. Just make sure your insert is sitting above the water source, and not IN it. If you need help to keep your insert above the water level we recommend popping in a raised container at the base of your sleeve - we like to use old jar lids or small plastic containers. Watch the video below for more!

Option 3: Get out the power tools!

If you’ve found your dream pot, but its got no holes… make your own!

A regular power drill will get through plastic pots as long as you go nice and slow, we don’t want it to crack! For concrete, terracotta, or metal pots you’ll have to get yourself a special attachment, you can pick these up from your local hardware store.

Option 4: Do you LECA like that?

Your last option is to plant directly into your pot with no hole, but to use LECA instead of soil.

We would really only recommend doing this if your pot is see-through. The reason for this is because, if you can’t see how much water you’re pouring into the pot and you can’t see if its been taken up by the plant yet, you’re risking overwatering and drowning your plant (eek!).

Plant your babe in the clay balls the same way you would plant in soil, just make sure you've (very gently) cleaned off all the soil you can from your plants roots. We're replacing soil with LECA here so we don't want any dirt left behind.

Your last resort: Layer it!

Create that drainage by layering

Choose your medium such as pebbles, stones or activated charcoal to line the bottom of your pot - go for a 3cm minimum layer. Before adding soil, cut out a piece of horticultural fabric and lay it on top of your chosen medium to separate from your soil mix. This stops the soil falling into the cracks of the charcoal etc.

Adding a drainage layer allows excess water to drain quickly and away from roots before they can be damaged. Though the water is still in the pot, a drainage layer can provide a barrier between too much water and your plant. The plant can then take up only the water he needs from this watering well you have created.

Every bit of water you add to the pot is going to stay in there, remember no drainage hole - so water lightly. If you think you might have overwatered, 

gently tip your pot to the side to allow the excess water to spill out.


Last tip,

 if it's left to sit in a pool of water it will only rot. So that means don't let it get rained on. This method really isn't recommended for outdoor plants where you can't manage the amount of water it's receiving. 

Plant Calculator Close
Plants In A Box Logo

Before you grow..

Subscribe to our newsletter for growing tips and tricks + a discount on your first plant order (woohoo!).

Our Plant Promise (to you).

We take care in growing and packaging our plants so they will arrive in amazing condition (we've sent plants to over 20,000 happy customers!).

If by random chance your plants don't arrive in great shape, never fear. Email our customer service team and we will either replace the plants pronto or refund the purchase price back to you. All you need to do is notify us within 24hrs of your order arriving.

Continue Shopping
Your Cart